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I like my job as a Search And Rescue Dog, but being lost is not fun. It's a big place out there and knowing how to stay safe is very important. Here are a few tips so you can stay safe and be prepared before going into the wilderness.

 

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  • Tell your parents where you are going. Even if you're with friends, tell an adult where you're going so nobody worries.

  • Never go off alone - use the Buddy System. Take a friend with you. Two heads are always better than one. If you forget what to do, your buddy might remember. You will always feel safer when you are with someone - and it's more fun too.

  • Wear bright color clothes. Make it easy to be seen if you get lost. Don't wear green or dark colors. Wear red, yellow or something really bright so you're easy to see in the woods.

 

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  • Carry a trash bag and whistle on a picnic, a hike or a camping trip. A plastic bag is good for keeping you warm. Blowing a whistle is much easier to hear than your voice - and it's a lot louder, too.

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If you do get lost, here are some important things to remember.

  • Sit and stay if you get lost in the woods. Just remember, Hunter sits and stays before going on a search. When you sit and stay in one place, it's easier for the rescue party to find you.

  • Keep warm and dry. Stay out of water and keep dry. If you have a coat and gloves, keep them on. If your hands start getting cold, put them under your arms to keep them warm. If you have a plastic bag, wrap it around you and it will keep you warm.

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  • Always answer when someone yells for you. Let people know where you are. When you hear someone calling you, yell back as loudly as you can to let them know where you are. If you have that whistle, use it and blow it a lot. You are much easier to find you when you can be heard.

  • Make yourself look big. It's hard to see you from above, like from a search helicopter, if you're standing. Find a tree in an open area. Lay down when the helicopter flies over. Make crosses or write "SOS" by using rocks or branches. You can even drag your foot in the dirt to write.

  • Be brave. People are looking for you. Don't be afraid of the animals in the forest. They won't hurt you if you leave them alone. Animals may want to sniff you, but don't hit at them or throw things at them. Scared animals will protect themselves and could bite.

  • Remember your parents will not punish you for getting lost. Your parents love you and want you back. You won't get punished because you were lost. Your parents are very worried about you and want you to be safe. Let the search team know where you are. They want to help you get back home, but you need to help them, too. Help them see and hear you!

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When you're in the woods, it's important to always stay safe.
Always stay with your parents or friends and NEVER go off on your own.